There are some books with DVD s on the back, said six year old Sabastian Howe as he described the new listening center in his kindergarten classroom at Beaverton s Barnes Elementary.
His teacher, LaSandra Rodriguez got the listening center from anonymous donors through the online charity DonorsChoose.org.
The website was started by a teacher in the Bronx a dozen years ago and since then has funded more than 90,000 projects.
The project for Ms. Rodriguez s room cost about $500. She listed her request on the website in August.
About three months later Sabastain and his classmates were enjoying a new CD player with wireless headphones along with some chairs to make reading time more comfortable.
I ll be amazed at the actual reading I see going on which is different from what I ve seen in the past, said Rodriguez. She needed the listening center so she could spend more time teaching students to read individually or in small groups.
You re supposed to read six to eight stories to a child per day and that s not something we can manage with 24 kids, said teacher Maribelle Hanrahan.
She has a request right now at DonorsChoose.org for classic children s stories with CD s in Spanish.
Once the dollar amount is reached the charity will send the items directly to the school. More than 130 other Oregon teachers have projects listed with the online charity. The staff checks the projects to verify the need is legitimate. Donors who visit the site will find a list by state or subject matter.
It was just really touching. People who don t even know me or my students cared enough to donate to my project, concluded a grateful LaSandra Rodriguez.